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Thread: Weight Distribution Hitch with Surge Brakes

  1. #1
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Default Weight Distribution Hitch with Surge Brakes

    Okay guys I know this is not about boats really, but its about my boat and trailer..

    I just bought a 28 ft Kingfisher that sits on a 12K lb King trailer that has surge (hydro) brakes. I towed it home with my Diesel Excursion and while the truck pulled it just fine I had a couple instances of swaying that I did not enjoy. I know the sway is usually caused by low tongue weight and I need to get that checked out, but I also need to put a weight distribution style hitch on the truck so that I am not exceeding the rating of the hitch on the truck.

    Does anyone know of a good WD hitch that will work with surge brakes? I found the Reese SC and one from equalizerhitch.com, but I wanted some real world opinions from guys who might actually have one.

    Thanks in advance.

    John

  2. #2

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    Tow the same boat and went with this product which I use with my equipment trailer as well. Very happy with it.

    http://airsafehitches.com/receiver_hitches.html

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beetle Builder View Post
    Tow the same boat and went with this product which I use with my equipment trailer as well. Very happy with it.

    http://airsafehitches.com/receiver_hitches.html


    I use the same thing for towing a cargo trailer and the boat, works great.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I use the Equalizer system. Works like a dream. No chains to mess with. Works well with a single pole trailer Tounge Adapter kit. I tow a Hewescraft Alaskan 240 with a Ford Expedition. No problems.

    http://equalizerhitch.com/productinfo/compatibility.php

    http://www.equalizerhitch.com/newsto...products_id=59

    equilizer.jpg

  5. #5

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    I would not Own, Rent, Borrow any trailer with surge brakes. Like the oldman that owned the rabbit creek rifle range when it was private would say, "Hell, I wouldn't have that run up my butt sideways even if I had room for a sawmill".

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Are you guys using a weight distribution bars and such with it or just by itself. The problem is that my Excursion is not rated to tow my boat with out the weight distribution system and that system appears to just be a shock absorber system.. but still looks cool.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    Are you guys using a weight distribution bars and such with it or just by itself. The problem is that my Excursion is not rated to tow my boat with out the weight distribution system and that system appears to just be a shock absorber system.. but still looks cool.
    My Expedition is rated for 5000 pounds and with a weight distribution system, it is rated for 8850 pounds. It states that right on the Ford Installed Hitch/Tow package. I checked with Ford before I did this. Got the green light. My boat weighs about 7500 pounds loaded on the trailer. I only tow with me in the vehicle when long hauling. In town, everyone jumps in. The only issue I have had is I wish I had your excursion with the 7.3 or V-10 to get out of Homer. I crest that hill at 35 MPH. I don't dare tackle Thompson pass with my 5.4L engine. The truck handles fine with the load. It likes to tow at 50-60 MPH. Wind nor trucks passing buy really don't effect the trailer ride. Reason I tow along on the open road is I like to have that cushion of 1000 pounds under my max so to speak. My boat and rig sit level at all times. I had it professionally installed where I bought it at Valley RV next to Hartley Motors. I do jack it up when parking for a long period to take the weight off the truck. I do plan to buy a new F-350 in the near future but not this year unless I get a heck of a raise.\\
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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. The problem with my diesel excursion is that its rated for 500 lb tongue wt and 5000 lbs or with a weight distributing hitch 1000 tongue and 11000 lbs. Initially I was going to buy a better receiver hitch rated for enough wt and just get after it, but I have discovered that no one makes a class 4/5 hitch for excursions. The problem is that the hitch is considered part of the rear end crash protection system (to keep people from running up under the truck) and no company wanted to deal with that.

    As long as people are having luck with the equalizer and I can get one in AK I am sold.

    AGL4now -
    I understand your feelings toward surge breaks, but I think the new modern stuff is better. My trailer has six wheel disk brakes... none of those old rusty drums like we all had troubles with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    Thanks guys. The problem with my diesel excursion is that its rated for 500 lb tongue wt and 5000 lbs or with a weight distributing hitch 1000 tongue and 11000 lbs. Initially I was going to buy a better receiver hitch rated for enough wt and just get after it, but I have discovered that no one makes a class 4/5 hitch for excursions. The problem is that the hitch is considered part of the rear end crash protection system (to keep people from running up under the truck) and no company wanted to deal with that.

    As long as people are having luck with the equalizer and I can get one in AK I am sold.

    AGL4now -
    I understand your feelings toward surge breaks, but I think the new modern stuff is better. My trailer has six wheel disk brakes... none of those old rusty drums like we all had troubles with.
    Call Valley RV. I got mine almost 3 years ago. If they don't have one in stock, I'm sure they will order one for you. If your military or retired Military, they give a 10% discount. Great Folks!!! If you want to see my set up, PM me and when I'm home next you can come check it out.

  10. #10

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    i use the normal old kind with chains with mine works fine one thing to remember is that the coupling on your trailer needs to be high as with the wd hitch you put alot more weight on the trailer coupling. my boat is about 10k loaded with trailer

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    Its looking more and more like I can not get the weight distribution set up to work on my trailer as the distance from the hitch to where I could mount a spreader bars to hook up the bars is about 40 inches. The only thing I might be able to do is some plumbing on the hydraulic system and make a bit more room. Maybe it might be easier to just buy a class 4 hitch for my Dodge and use that with out any of this trouble, but the dodge just does not have room for the family in it. Maybe I need a new truck.

    Can one of you, when you have time measure from the center of your ball out to the end of the WD bars and tell me the distance? Most bars are 36 inches long but not sure where that 36 inches starts. It might be real tight.


    Thanks

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    Its looking more and more like I can not get the weight distribution set up to work on my trailer as the distance from the hitch to where I could mount a spreader bars to hook up the bars is about 40 inches. The only thing I might be able to do is some plumbing on the hydraulic system and make a bit more room. Maybe it might be easier to just buy a class 4 hitch for my Dodge and use that with out any of this trouble, but the dodge just does not have room for the family in it. Maybe I need a new truck.

    Can one of you, when you have time measure from the center of your ball out to the end of the WD bars and tell me the distance? Most bars are 36 inches long but not sure where that 36 inches starts. It might be real tight.


    Thanks

    John
    When Valley RV installed mine, they had to move my pole that secures the crank back a little and then fabricated the tube shorter at the rear of the surge brakes that allows hydraulic fluid to flow to fit the single pole tounge adapter in the slot. They charged me for one hour labor to do that extra with the regular installation. Go see them, they are wonderful people. They install WD all the time for travel trailer haulers. I'm sure they can figure something out.

    Mark

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I did some more measuring today and as long as I don't have to use the spreader I will be fine. Looking at the equalizer website it appears they recommend no using the spreader if you can mount the regular hangers on the sides of the tongue. I am going to call them when I get ready to do this and be sure. I will also call Valley RV and see if they have them in stock.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Wt Distro hitches are worth their weight in gold, excuse the pun. That said, when a trailer starts to sway you need to have brakes on the trailer. Surge brakes do not work in this situation. Tap the trailer brakes and the trailer will more quickly get back in line. One time on the Glenn I had a horse trailer start to slid on ice...I jack knifed back and forth across all three lanes (plus both medians) for about a mile until I spun completely around...one scary ride, but I survived. I could not brake the truck, it made the sliding worse. I had not trailer brakes (the line had been cut). Surge brakes would not have helped. Trailer brakes could be tapped repeatedly and slowed me from my coasting, and helped straighten things out. Lesson Learned! I fixed the brakes the next day. I have never understood surge brakes for boats...what happens when you back down a ramp and need extra braking??? Just my opinion.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  15. #15

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    I agree with everything you've said here. I have surge brakes, and my trailer (double axle) has disk brakes. If I had my way (and the $), I'd chose electric over hydraulics. With surge brakes, you can't stop the trailer if your truck brakes are bad, and there's a greater risk of jack knifing on slick roads. And when you're going down a long hill (e.g. Turnagain Pass) and you need to brake to slow down, your trailer is going to stayed braked all the way down unless you speed up to "un-surge" it. I ordered the trailer with disk brakes so that they'd be easier than my old trailer's drum brakes to keep rinsed and from rusting. Kind of wish I'd ordered it with free-backing drum brakes since drums are now made so that they don't rust as much, and trying to back up a hill with disk brakes that locked up on you when you stopped (as they were designed to do) and they won't unlock is a royal pain.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    Wt Distro hitches are worth their weight in gold, excuse the pun. That said, when a trailer starts to sway you need to have brakes on the trailer. Surge brakes do not work in this situation. Tap the trailer brakes and the trailer will more quickly get back in line. One time on the Glenn I had a horse trailer start to slid on ice...I jack knifed back and forth across all three lanes (plus both medians) for about a mile until I spun completely around...one scary ride, but I survived. I could not brake the truck, it made the sliding worse. I had not trailer brakes (the line had been cut). Surge brakes would not have helped. Trailer brakes could be tapped repeatedly and slowed me from my coasting, and helped straighten things out. Lesson Learned! I fixed the brakes the next day. I have never understood surge brakes for boats...what happens when you back down a ramp and need extra braking??? Just my opinion.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    The conversion from surge to electric over hydraulic would run about $1000... the more I think about it the more I think it might be worth doing just for the safety of the whole thing. I do like being able to reach down and push the button on the break controller and feel my trailer start slowing me down. I guess its time to do some investigation into what brand of equipment to use...

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    JR,

    Keep us up to date on your progress on this. I am thinking about doing the same thing to mine. I have even more motivation than you, since I am up around 14,000 lbs on the trailer.

    I have been reading on this, and it seems like the Titan SDII and the Dexter are the systems most people like, and I think I am leaning towards the Titan Brakerite SD II:

    http://www.pacifictrailers.com/Brake-Rite-II-SD-Electric/Hydraulic-Brake-Actuator-Kit-4835700/



    In addition to this unit, you also need a breakaway kit so that the brakes apply if it becomes decoupled. It seems like for electric over hydraulic, they like to use a double mattery setup like this:

    http://www.pacifictrailers.com/Breakaway-Kit-for-Electric/Hydraulic-Actuators-4822100/

    I also found that where people have probelms with these is when they submerge them in salt when launching their boats, so there is a stand that elevates it a bit:

    http://www.pacifictrailers.com/Custom-Mounting-Stand-for-Titan-Brake-Rite-Actuators/

    Ideally I could find a box that would hold the actuator, batteries and brain all in one water tight box rather than having it sitting out on the toungue to get damaged. If you find out a better mounting method, let me know.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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    I ended up ordering the Dexter E/H actuator and breakaway system. At first I was told that you have to weld on a new couple, but now Titan makes a 2 5/8" hitch that is bolt on and rated to 20,000lbs. I am still up in the air if I will install it this spring before I move the boat, or in the summer once I get the boat in the water.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    The conversion from surge to electric over hydraulic would run about $1000... the more I think about it the more I think it might be worth doing just for the safety of the whole thing. I do like being able to reach down and push the button on the break controller and feel my trailer start slowing me down. I guess its time to do some investigation into what brand of equipment to use...
    I have a electric over hydraulic unit for sale if you would like. Even if you have to buy everything new it will not cost $1000. I have done a bunch of these.

    If you are worried about dipping them in the water consider putting it all in a battery box. A 4D box would be prefect to fit all.

    I do not have mine in a box, but I do not get anywhere close to ever having to dunk mine in the water, even launching at Big Lake. I do have a roller trailer and I do drive on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    I have a electric over hydraulic unit for sale if you would like. Even if you have to buy everything new it will not cost $1000. I have done a bunch of these.
    Then I am going to call you this summer cause I have a trailer that needs to be converted
    Tennessee

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